The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has urged Defra to improve its “ineffective” hazardous waste strategy.
The association wants Defra and the Environment Agency (EA) to give guidance on what they consider to be the best overall environmental option for dealing with key hazardous wastes.
The call came in response to Defra’s review of its 2010 hazardous waste strategy for England, which sought views on whether changes are needed to improve management and drive investment.
The ESA said: “We support the principles on which the 2010 strategy is based, but believe that Defra and the EA have given insufficient priority to the implementation of the strategy on the ground.
“Hence it has not been as effective in raising standards of hazardous waste treatment as it might have been.”
It suggested that Defra should make a decision on the future of the 3xWAC derogation for hazardous waste landfill, which means materials can exceed waste acceptance criteria by up to three times.
It also called on Defra and the EA to continue to tackle waste crime of all kinds, particularly those involving hazardous waste.
A report into hazardous waste management in 10 EU member states, including the UK, was published by the European Commission in January. It recommended UK authorities enforce existing legislation to boost investments in the best available technologies.
The EA recently confirmed that, from 1 April, premises in England producing more than 500kg a year of hazardous waste will no longer have to register, a move criticised by the ESA.